On March 1, 2005, the United States Supreme Court decided Roper v. Simmons. The case involved a high school student, Christopher Simmons, who confessed to a murder and was tried and sentenced to death. He was 17 at the time. The Supreme Court held that the execution of juvenile offenders, younger than 18 when the crime was committed, violated the Eighth Amendment. So Christopher Simmons’ death sentence was overturned. Justice Kennedy, who authored the Court’s opinion, remarked that a majority of states had already banned the execution of juveniles under 18. In fact, the world frowned upon it. He wrote, “Our determination that the death penalty is disproportionate punishment for offenders under 18 finds confirmation in the stark reality that the United States is the only country in the world that continues to give official sanction to the juvenile death penalty.” You can listen to the attorneys argue this case before the Supreme Court at https://goo.gl/xd6lBr.
Also on this date, but in 1954, the Senate confirmed Earl Warren as the 14th Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Read more at https://goo.gl/rj370p.